I Refuse to Contain My Unbridled Enthusiasm!

Fair warning: I am feeling very exclamation-pointy today!!

Except all-caps are too screamy for my conflict-avoidant sensibilities, so for now we’ll just stick with the exclamation points!!
Okay even I am sick of exclamation points now. We’re going on a brief exclamation point hiatus.

My first book ever—You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets—is coming out TOMORROW—May 7th, and I can barely contain myself. Wait—I refuse to contain myself. One is allowed to be unreasonably giddy at a time like this, right?

The thing is, doing this All About Me dog and pony show feels a tad unnatural and uncomfortable … because, well, it feels All About Me (even though it’s a book All About You and Your Life, not mine). My default setting is to deflect the conversation away from moi and talk All About You, or All About Andy our Annoyingly Nocturnal Cat, or All About Whatever We’re Watching on Netflix (have you started The Gentlemen? It’s kinda good, right?).

I’m not in the mood to unpack the systemic societal and cultural reasons why I tend to shy away from the light rather than bask in the glow of it, because as I mentioned, I AM FUCKING EXUBERANT OVER HERE TODAY, but I will take a quick sec to talk about capitalization. Capita-what?

Capitalization is the experience of savoring positive life events by sharing them with other people. For example, me showing up in your inbox today, peeing my virtual pants, excited to tell you about my book launch tomorrow—that’s me capitalizing. Oh wait, have I mentioned that yet?

The emotional disclosure on behalf of the sharer invites the listener (er, reader) to connect through shared positive affect. It’s a bid for connection, really. It’s a gesture that says, will you be with me in this glowy time? Want to share it with me? (And okay, also, will you pretty please buy my book—I guess there’s that bid, too 😉.)

Social psychologists salivate at capitalization because it’s a tool that builds well-being and happiness. When we’re willing to share our giddy-good news with others, it helps us underscore our good feelings about the event. It takes a private joy and amplifies it—usually because people (mostly!) respond in positive ways that makes for a feel-good reverberation. That sounds good for the soul … for all parties involved. I’ve been swaddled (yes I’m choosing that word on purpose because it feels like a fleece-lined hug) with words of encouragement and support from friends and strangers (i.e., new friends), and it’s a form of love I’d never have been exposed to if I didn’t step out and say “hi! Look here! I did this thing and I’d love your help and want to pop some virtual Champagne with me?”.

Do you share your good news, or do you keep it close to the vest? Are you afraid that your joy will be squashed if people don’t share in your excitement? Are you afraid of looking like a Braggy Braggerson if you tell people about your successy-good news? Are you missing out on the chance to feel exponentially excited? Who can you rely on to “capitalize” on the good stuff going on in your life?

Of course I’m onto myself; writing this “sharing good news feels itchy” missive acts as a not-so-covert way of getting your permission to be giddy today, of preempting your possible annoyance with me for being excited about Something I Did that I’m Proud Of, Goshdarnit. It’s an age-old trick; if I say it first that I’m being braggy, you can’t accuse me of being braggy (*insert nervous laughter*). Last I checked, this wasn’t a therapy session, so I’ll move this aside and share a few words of inspiration about not containing our unadulterated joy … I read this a few times a year and it’s never not jolting in a good way:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson

I refuse to de-zestify! I’m going to revel in my excitement! I’m going to CAPITALIZE THE SHIT OUT OF MY GOOD NEWS (literally in all caps, hahaha), and I’m going to use all the exclamation points my keyboard can handle!!! (Whoa, Nellie.)

And I sure hope you capitalize on your own good stuff; why not share your happy newsflashes with me?

Also? I sure hope you order You Only Die Once. Let’s be exuberant together? I wrote the book to help us snap out of autopilot, stop taking life for granted, and get the most of our 4,000 Mondays. We can get behind that, right?!

(If you preorder it before May 7th you’ll get a bonus; if you order it on May 7th or after, you’ll just get a damn fine book. You can’t lose. ISN’T THAT EXCITING?!?!?!??!?!!!!!)

Jodi Wellman

P.S.: You might have missed the point above, that my book comes out this week?!! You Only Die Once: How to Make It to the End with No Regrets is waiting for you to order it!!

P.P.S.: Let’s do Instagram together.

P.P.P.S.: Oh and just in case you missed it… I’d love you forever if you took 16 minutes out of your life to watch my TEDx talk!


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